Tigers trade Prince Fielder to Texas for 2B Ian Kinsler


Zach Libby

The Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers have agreed to a surprising trade of big money All-Star players. The news was first reported by CBS Sports John Heyman. According to Heyman, the Tigers have dealt first baseman Prince Fielder in exchange for second baseman Ian Kinsler. It was later confirmed by a source to ESPN.

According to ESPN baseball insider Keith Law, the Tigers have also agreed to send $30 million with Fielder for compensation to his massive nine-year, $214 million contract. Fielder has $168 million and seven years left on his deal that he signed back in 2012. A high-ranking official with knowledge of the deal confirmed the reimbursement as well, per USA Today.

Kinsler finished the first year of his five-year, $75 million contract. According to ESPN.com, the Tigers will have to pay the remaining $62 million over the next four seasons. Kinsler’s contract also includes a $5 million buyout on his club option for the 2018 season. CBS Sports John Heyman has also reported that physicals will be needed to complete the deal. There’s a possibility that another unidentified player could be involved in the deal.

The latest blockbuster deal makes sense for both the Rangers and the Tigers. Fielder is headed to a hitter-friendly ballpark in Arlington, where he will also take over as first baseman for manager Ron Washington and his staff. In two seasons with the Tigers, Fielder hit .295 with 55 HR and 214 RBI. The Rangers will thrive with a big bat in the middle of their lineup, as they will have Fielder locked up until 2020.

By dealing Fielder to the Rangers, it gives the Tigers a significant amount of money to resign a few of their top players and give them compliance in regards to their payroll, which is one of the largest in the MLB. GM Dave Dombrowski is expected to work on an extension with this year’s reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, who is expected to make over $22 million per year.

The Tigers will also receive their permanent second baseman for 2014 in Kinsler, as Omar Infante is expected to leave for free agency this winter. In 136 games with the Rangers last season, Kinsler batted .277 with 151 hits and 72 RBI. Kinsler will play alongside Miguel Cabrera, who will most likely be moved to first base, which will allow prospect Nick Castellanos to play third base next year.

Trading for Fielder is a high risk, yet high reward for the Rangers. With Kinsler leaving Arlington, Jurickson Profar will take over at second base. Texas was expected to move either Kinsler or short stop Elvis Andrus, which allows the 20 year old prospect to play regularly in 2014. The Rangers will now be relaying on Fielder, Andrus, Profar and third baseman Adiran Beltre for productivity in the lineup for the next few years.

In a recent conducted poll by ESPN with a total of 57,771 votes, 36% thought that it was a good move for the Rangers, 31% thought it was a good move for the Tigers and 33% thought it was a good move for both teams.